WARNING: THE END OF THIS FAN FICTION IS CLOSER THAN IT APPEARS
I know, I know, I took forever to finally finish this chapter. But in my defense, it's way longer than any of the previous chapters. I considered splitting it into two chapters because it was so long, and the climax and resolution are sort of side-by-side. But I decided to stick to the original structure I plotted out from the beginning. So here it is, the conclusion to The Warning Signs.
And for those of you who like this story (and I'm just going to assume you do since this is the last chapter and I don't know why else you would still be reading it if you thought it was complete trash) I'm planning another one which I hope to start posting soon. It's focused mainly on Carlos (and Stephanie, because after Big Time Dance, I officially ship Carlos/Stephanie!), but it will have some Logan/Camille and Kendall/Jo.
Anyways, please enjoy this chapter which I am dedicating to you. Yes, I mean you specifically. You are my favorite reader, and you deserve this. Oh, and please review. I spent a lot of time writing this chapter, and it only take a few minutes to write a review.
Special thanks to Starbucks for her super encouraging reviews and for just being generally awesome. I thought of you while writing one of Kendall's lines at the very end. I think you'll know which line I'm talking about when you get there.
The Warning Signs
Chapter Five: Chemical Reaction May Occur
"Ugh!" Jo cried in frustration. "How do you keep winning? That's like the third game in a row!"
She was sitting on the carpeted floor across from Carlos, holding her last playing card, a lowly three, while Carlos held the other fifty one cards and wore a broad grin.
James looked down at the two from his seat atop the kitchen counter and shook his head. "Carlos hides aces on the bottom of his deck. The rest of us have learned not to play War against him."
"I do not!" Carlos cried.
Jo frowned. "Let me see your cards."
He shrunk away. "No."
She held out her opened palm. "Hand them over."
Carlos stuck out his tongue. "Make me."
"I will." Jo seized Carlos by the wrist and twisted it until he released his hold on the deck. She gasped as she inspected his cards. "You cheater!"
"So what?" Carlos replied, rubbing his wrist tenderly. "Everyone knows at least one person has to cheat in War or else the game goes on forever."
Jo rolled her eyes and began to shuffle the deck. "Okay, new game. BS this time. It's impossible to cheat in BS."
"Yes," James said, hopping down from the counter. "Deal me in."
"Why is the game called BS anyways?" Carlos wondered.
"Well, because," James explained, "in order to win, you have to lie. And as we all know, 'B.S.' stands for 'baloney sandwiches'."
"Oh. Okay. That makes sense." Carlos looked up at Kendall, who had been sitting silently at the computer, his eyes glued to the screen. "What about you? Wanna play Baloney Sandwiches?"
"Shh!" Kendall hissed, waving his friend's question away.
Jo looked up at Kendall curiously. "What are you reading anyways?"
"Yeah, you haven't said a word since Logan took off," James commented. "Which is weird, since we all know how much you love to talk…"
"Shh!" Kendall hissed again.
"That's it," Jo said, standing. "I need to see what's got you acting so weird."
"But we were about to play BS!" Carlos whined.
"Not now, Carlos." She strolled over to the computer and peered over his shoulder at the monitor. Her expression changed from curious to serious as she read.
"What?" James asked, noting the look on her face.
Kendall turned to his two friends. "You guys," he told them. "We need to find Logan. Like now."
Logan propped his elbows on the low brick walls behind which he was hiding. He was beginning to think that spying on Camille's date was not such a brilliant idea. He knew dating was supposed to be fun, but he realized now that it was only fun for the people who were actually on the date. It wasn't so much fun for the guy who decided to tag along and watch from behind the bushes.
His poor choice of hiding spots didn't help matters. Not only was he too far away to hear their conversation, but Camille's back was to him as well. The only face he could see was Wesley's, a face he didn't particularly want to look at.
He wished he could see Camille's expression, just to find out whether she was having fun. From her body language, which Logan had learned to read quite well over the last couple of weeks, she didn't seem to be. Which was a good sign. But it would have been comforting to be able to see her face. Her back and shoulders could be tricky to read, and Camille had been acting so strange over the past couple of days that Logan didn't even know how well he knew her anymore.
Wesley had been talking animatedly to Camille for about thirty minutes while she nibbled on her fruit salad and sipped her sparkling juice. Was she interested? Intrigued? Bored?
Logan wondered what Wesley was talking about. He sighed as he sunk lower to the ground and planted his chin against the brick ledge. If only he could hear their conversation.
"…and that's why I decided to move back to LA. I hope to get back on stage someday, but for now I'm gonna focus on my film career."
Camille popped a jello square into her mouth. "So you're back at the Palm Woods because you're voice changed?"
Wesley shrugged. "Well, that's not the only reason I left New York."
"Running from a girl?" Camille guessed.
"More like running to a girl."
Camille sighed. "Wes, we've been over this."
"Come on, Camille," Wesley said, picking a black olive off of his sandwich and tossing it onto his plate. "I'm here. You're here. We've been, like, best friends since second grade. We should be able to just…pick up where we left off."
"It's been two years. Things haven't just stayed exactly the way we left them."
"What's the problem?" Wesley asked around a bite of his sandwich.
"I think you know."
Wesley's disgust became apparent on his face. "Don't tell me it's another guy."
There was no need for Camille to answer. Her face said it all.
Wesley rolled his eyes. "Not that Landon guy. Come on, Camille. He's so…so…"
A young boy who happened to be passing by their table at that moment looked over at him, offended. "What do you have against me?" the boy asked. "I've never even met you."
Camille put a hand on the boy's shoulder. "He wasn't talking about you, Landon." She turned to Wesley, a stern look on her face. "How many times do I have to tell you his name is Logan."
"Logan?" the young boy repeated, making a disgusted face. "That guy's a jerk. He told me I suck at hockey and then he made fun of my shirt."
Camille raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure he said that?"
The boy nodded. "He was shouting it outside my apartment door."
Camille furrowed her brow in confusion as the boy strolled away. "That doesn't sound like Logan."
"Can't you forget about Logan?" Wesley said, reaching across the table for Camille's hand. "Cam, we've known each other for nine years. How can this guy that you've known for three months just replace me?"
"He's not replacing you, Wes. You and I are friends. We'll always be friends."
"But Camille, the guy's a hockey player. From Minnesota. And he picks on eight-year-old boys."
Camille sighed. "You don't know him. If you did, you'd understand. Logan is smart and sweet and..." She couldn't believe it. He wasn't listening to her at all. He was looking somewhere above her left shoulder. Wesley was completely tuning her out. "Could you at least pretend to pay attention when I'm talking to you? As in look at my face?"
"I thought I just saw something moving in the…" His eyebrows furrowed into a stern glare as his eyes locked onto something behind her. "…bushes."
Letting out a small gasp, Logan quickly ducked behind the shrubbery. But it was too late. He'd seen him. There was no question. Logan was sure Wesley's eyes had just locked onto his, and he was equally positive that the beefy blond knew exactly what he was up to.
"Hey!" Wesley shouted, standing up. "You there!"
Logan slowly stood back up. He pointed at his chest innocently.
"Yeah, you!" Wesley yelled. "You wearing the plant on your head!"
Logan swallowed hard as Camille turned around in her seat. He sighed defeatedly as he stepped over the low brick wall and walked toward the couple.
"Logan?" she cried in disbelief.
Logan waved sheepishly. "Hey, Camille."
"What are you doing?" Wesley asked angrily. "Were you spying on our date?"
Looking annoyed, Camille spun around to face Wesley. "It's not a date!"
Logan was taken aback. "It's not?"
"No!" Camille cried. "I told you, Wesley and I broke up three years ago. And we're not getting back together. There is nothing left between us." She looked pointedly at her ex-boyfriend.
Logan crossed his arms and smirked at Wesley, who merely glared at him in return. But his smile faded when he saw the way Camille was still glaring at him.
"I can't believe you were spying on me," she said. "Do the words 'private conversation' mean nothing to you?"
"Well I…I couldn't really hear what you were saying…"
"That's beside the point. You had no right to spy on me. Don't you respect me at all?"
"Of course I respect you. I…It's just that I like you. A lot. And I thought that you liked me too…"
"You know I like you, Logan," Camille cut him off. "I haven't been trying to hide it."
"And I thought things were going really well between us," Logan went on. He sighed and pointed disgustedly at Wesley. "And then that guy…"
"Wesley," Camille interrupted. "That guy's name is Wesley."
"And then Wesley came along and you started acting like you weren't interested in me. It was like you didn't want him to know about me or something. Like you were keeping me a secret from him and…you know, vice versa."
Camille sighed. "Logan, after Wesley called me and told me he was back in L.A., I didn't want anything to happen between us…"
"Because you wanted to give Wesley another try before you decided who you wanted to be with?"
Camille took a few steps toward Logan, so they were standing face to face. "I didn't want things to get serious between us before I had the chance to explain Wesley that there's no way he and I are getting back together. Because I'm in love with someone else."
"Oh," Logan muttered, scratching his neck awkwardly. "Who?"
Wesley groaned. "You, you idiot."
"Wes," Camille said sharply, giving the tall young man a stern glare. Then she turned back to Logan. "I was talking about you. You idiot."
Logan swallowed hard. "Oh," he said again.
Camille crossed her arms. "Well?"
"What do you have to say for yourself?"
Logan took a hesitant step forward, so the two were almost touching. "I love you too," he said.
Camille sighed. With the close proximity between them, Logan could feel her breath against his mouth. "Do you, Logan?"
"Because before you seemed to think that I was some kind of a two-timer. Keeping you and Wesley a secret from each other."
"And then you implied that I was the kind of girl who would string two guys along while I chose between them."
"I didn't mean…"
"I know exactly what you meant, Logan. And if that's the kind of girl you think I am, then we probably shouldn't be around each other. It's…unhealthy."
Camille just stood in front of him, arms crossed, waiting for him to finish his sentence. He scratched his arm awkwardly. "I hadn't planned out what I was gonna say there... I thought you were gonna cut me off again."
Rolling her eyes, Camille spun on her heels and walked away.
"Don't expect to hear from her anytime soon," Wesley advised, taking a seat. "Camille's great at grudges."
Logan sighed. "Tell me about it."
"Wanna sit?" Wesley offered, pointing to Camille's empty chair. "There's plenty of jello left."
Logan shrugged and accepted the offer. "I like jello."
The two sat at the table, eating as glumly as two teenage boys can eat cubes of jello.
"You know what's the worst?" Logan mumbled, sucking up an orange jello square.
"The way Camille always says exactly what she's thinking until you actually want to know what she's thinking?"
"How about the way her claws come out the minute she sees you talking to another girl?" Wesley added.
"Or the mixed signals she just loves to send," Logan replied.
"Or how you're always on edge when she walks up, because you never know whether she's practicing for some audition and might want to practice that signature Camille slap on you?"
"She does slap hard, doesn't she?"
Wesley nodded. "And she's not very smart either."
"Hey!" Logan cried, instinctively peeling a slice of salami from the sub sandwich and flinging it at the other boy's face. "Take that back."
Wesley grinned as he peeled the slice of salami off of his forehead. "That was a test. Congratulations. You passed."
"Oh," Logan said. "Um. Okay."
"You know, Landon…"
"Logan," Logan corrected.
"Logan," Wesley amended. "We have more in common than I thought."
Logan sucked up another cube of jello. "Why are you being nice to me? After I…I dunno, stole your girlfriend. And threw meat at you."
Wesley shrugged. "I guess because I know what it's like to have Camille mad at me. And because…there's just no point in fighting anymore. She likes you, not me. I can't change that."
"Liked," Logan corrected him.
"Dude, she's mad at you. That doesn't mean she stopped liking you."
"So, you're like the expert on Camille. How do I get her to stop being mad at me?"
"Hey, I'm willing to call it a truce. That doesn't mean I'm gonna help you win her back."
The two sat eating jello in silence for a minute before they heard shouting from a distance.
"Logan!" they heard the voices shout. "Logan! Logan! Logan!"
The next thing they knew, the table was surrounded. Carlos, James, and Jo were all shouting at Logan excitedly and Kendall was shoving some piece of paper in Logan's face.
"Um, guys," Logan said calmly. "I can't understand you when you're all talking at once."
Not hearing him over their own talking, his friends continued to shout at him.
"Kendall," Logan said. "I can't read that thing when you wave it around in my face like that."
Again, Logan's words were lost on his friends. Shaking his head, Wesley got to his feet and put his finger and thumb to his lips. The next thing they knew, a sharp whistle interrupted their chatter. The four looked at Wesley, as if noticing his presence for the first time.
"Dude," Carlos said, looking from Wesley to Logan. "Are you on a date with Camille's date?"
Logan rolled his eyes. "You guys."
"And girl," Jo added.
"And girl," Logan said. "Meet Camille's ex-boyfriend Wesley. Wesley, this is Carlos, Kendall, James, and Jo."
The four looked nervously at Wesley.
"Nice to meet you?" Carlos said, making it sound more like a question than a statement.
"Dude," James whispered to Logan. "I thought you two didn't like each other."
"We don't," Logan assured him. "So, what's going on?"
"We're here to stop you from doing something stupid," James told him.
Wesley laughed. "You're too late for that. Dude acted like a moron."
Logan glared across the table. "Thank. You. Wesley."
Wesley just shrugged.
Jo sighed. "I was afraid of that. How mad at you is Camille?"
"It's hard to tell who she's more mad at," Logan replied. "Wesley or me."
"Oh, it's you," Wesley assured him. "She totally expects this kind of behavior from me."
Logan threw another slice of salami at Wesley. "Will you stop saying things that totally don't help me at all?"
"What do you expect from me? I'm not your friend."
Logan held up his sandwich threateningly.
"Logan!" James cried. "Lower your lunch meat."
"You guys!" Jo cried. "Can we get back to Camille?"
"You have to make up with her," Carlos told Logan. "Do whatever you can to win her back."
"Dude, you didn't see her face," Logan replied. "She's furious with me. I think…I think it might be time for me to give up."
"No!" his friends all cried in unison.
He looked at each of them in defeat. "Why do you guys care so much anyways?"
Kendall held up his piece of paper. "Five signs," he explained.
Logan wrinkled his forehead. "That web site where we looked up 'Five signs that your best friend's problems in school are a direct result of narcissism' and found out that James had all five symptoms?"
"That's the one," Carlos replied. "Hey, is that jello?"
"So?" Logan said, looking at Kendall. "What is it?"
"Listen to this," Kendall said, reading from the paper. "'She gets along with your friends. You get mad when others insult her. You neglect your friends. You can't concentrate."
"And," James finished. "'You have chemistry.'"
Logan shrugged. "Okay, those all sound vaguely familiar."
"Vaguely familiar?" Jo repeated. "It's like a perfect description of you and Camille. Hey!" She turned to Wesley as she peeled a slice of lunch meat from her cheek. "Did you just chuck salami at my face?"
"Sorry," Wesley mumbled. "I have jealousy issues."
"No kidding," Logan mumbled.
"Logan," Kendall said, holding the paper up in front of his friend's face. "Those are the five signs that she's the one for you."
"It proves that you and Camille are meant for each other," Jo said. "You can't give up now. You two are meant to be."
Logan sucked up another cube of jello. "So what am I supposed to do? Like I said, she's mad. Remember how mad my mom was when we were eight and Carlos dared me to drop a watermelon off of my roof and I did and it made a huge mess on the front porch and killed my brother's pet rabbit Frances?"
Wesley made a face. "The bunnies name was Frances?"
"Dude," James muttered. "Your mom was mad."
"I know," Logan replied. "That's how mad Camille is at me."
"Wow," Kendall said. "You must have said something really stupid."
"He did," Wesley replied.
"Did you try apologizing to her?" Carlos asked Logan.
"Gee, Carlos, I didn't think of that."
"Logan," Jo said, placing a hand on his arm. "You have to try again. Just keep trying. Go to her apartment. Do whatever it takes."
"Isn't she worth it?"
"Logan," Jo said. "Is Camille worth it?"
"Go!" his friends all cried.
Logan stood up nervously. "Okay. You're right. I'm going."
Kendall, James, Carlos, Jo, and Wesley watched Logan as he marched toward the front doors of the Palm Woods.
"Look at him go," Jo said, wiping away an imaginary tear.
"Our little Logie," Kendall said. "All grown up and most likely about to screw things up even further."
Logan ran his fingers nervously through his hair as he approached Camille's door. He played over and over in his mind everything that could go wrong. What if she slammed the door in his face the minute she saw him. What if she didn't answer the door at all? Or worse yet, what if she did let him in, and she just chewed him out again? He certainly deserved it.
"Well, here goes," he muttered as he reached up to knock on the door. But before he could, it flew open and he found himself standing face to face with Camille.
"Logan!" she cried.
"Camille?" he replied.
He was about to inquire whether she'd been standing at the peephole waiting for him when, to his utter surprise, she lunged at him. Her arms flew around his neck and her lips smashed fiercely against his. He didn't have a chance to react before she was pulling away.
Logan wrinkled his forehead in confusion. "What just happened?"
"Logan," she said, slipping her hands into his. "I am so sorry."
"You're sorry? But I'm the one who's supposed to be sorry."
"No. I shouldn't have gotten mad at you."
"What are you talking about?" he asked. "You have every reason to be…"
"Logan," Camille cut him off. "I tried to make you jealous."
"When I found out Wesley was coming back, I was hoping you'd get jealous over me. And I purposely kept you in the dark so you'd get all freaked out when you saw him."
"But why would you want me to be jealous of Wesley?"
"It's gonna sound stupid."
"Because…Because I know you used to have a thing for Jo. And then I met that Mercedes chick who you apparently dated. And there are so many other girls at the Palm Woods who are, like, beyond gorgeous. The Jennifers, Stephanie, that girl who's always asking guys to rub sun block on her back. It just made me feel all…I don't know."
"Jealous?" Logan supplied.
Camille hung her head. "Yeah. Jealous."
"So, let me get this straight. You wanted to make me jealous of Wesley because you were jealous of all the other girls I know?"
She nodded. "Pretty much."
"Wow," Logan replied. "Wow. That is so…awesome."
"Awesome?" Camille repeated. "Aren't you mad at me?"
"Mad?" he responded. "Why would I be mad? I've never had a sweet, pretty girl turn manipulative and conniving over me before."
"I can't be mad at you, Camille. I like you too much."
Camille smiled. "Well, you know, I've never had a guy spy on me disguised as a shrub before, so I guess I should be flattered too."
"Did you mean what you said earlier?" Logan asked. "When you said you loved me."
Camille bit her lower lip shyly and nodded.
He grinned. "Good. So did I."
Camille smiled back at him. "So it's official. You and I are together now."
"Um…okay," Logan replied, surprised by her forwardness.
"Which means, as your girlfriend, I have to approve of what kinds of girls you're friends with."
Logan furrowed his brow. "Um…okay," he said again.
"Jo's okay, because she's my best friend," Camille said. "But that Mercedes girl is off limits. Stay away from her."
"Um…okay," Logan repeated once again.
"Glad we're clear," she said, standing on her toes so they were at eye level with one another. "You may kiss me now."
Logan smiled and leaned in toward her. But before he could kiss her, he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket. "Ugh," he groaned, as he checked the contact name. "I have to take this."
Camille sighed as Logan turned around and flipped his cell phone open.
"Hi," he greeted the caller. "What's up? Yeah. Yeah. Yes, I got your package. Thanks. You're right, I did. Um, yeah, kinda. Okay. Okay. I miss you too. Okay. Okay. Love you too. Call you later. Bye."
He turned back to Camille, who was grinning at him.
"Aww," she said. "Did wittle Wogan get a cawl fwom his mommykins?"
Logan slipped his phone back into his pocket. "What makes you think that was my mom?"
She raised her eyebrow at him knowingly.
"Okay, yeah. It was my mom."
"Yeah, that's what I thought," Camille said, clutching onto the front of his shirt and pulling him toward her.
"But, you know, it could have been another girl," Logan replied. "I mean, there were girls in Minnesota who liked me. I'm not completely unattractive."
Camille rolled her eyes. "Shut up and kiss me, Logan."
Logan was more than happy to obey. He grinned and reached for her long brown locks as he pressed his lips to hers. As he felt the spark between them, he couldn't help but think of that stupid list his friends had read to him earlier. Those guys could be idiots, but they were certainly right this time.
Sometimes it's easy to miss all of life's little warning signs, but every once in a while, you're able to read them right, and the signs point you exactly where you need to be. And for Logan, this was it.
"Okay, ready?" Kendall asked Jo, who was standing nervously in front of one of the two makeshift hockey goals in 2J, clad in protective goalie gear.
"Kendall," Jo whined. "Do I have to do this? You know I hate hockey."
Kendall placed his hands on Jo's padded shoulders. "That's because you've never played it before. Trust me, when you, me and James crush Logan, Carlos and Camille in an intense game of three on three, you'll love hockey."
"I seriously doubt that," Jo muttered.
"Okay, fine. Maybe you won't like hockey," Kendall admitted. "But you owe me this because I read that dumb vampire book you wouldn't shut up about and saw that sissy ballet with you."
"You loved that ballet," Jo hissed.
"And if you tell any of my friends that, I will never forgive you."
"Can we get started on this game?" Carlos called impatiently from across the room.
"Yeah!" Camille shouted in agreement from in front of the opposite goal. "We're ready to take you losers down!"
"I'm not ready yet!" James shouted from the boys' room. "I can't find my spare hockey gloves!"
"That's because Jo is wearing them!" Logan replied. "Yours are the only ones that would fit her!"
"These are James's?" Jo asked skeptically, looking down at her hands. "I thought you borrowed these from Katie. James, are you aware that you have, like, really small hands?"
"Aw!" James cried, emerging from the boys' room. "Come on!"
"You don't need gloves you wuss," Carlos told him. "Let's just play."
"Fine," James mumbled, picking up his hockey stick.
Logan turned to Camille and winked. "Ready goalie? Just like I taught you."
"Are you ready to lose?" Kendall asked.
Camille grinned, returning her boyfriend's wink. "Bring it on."
The game began, and it was a blur of black helmets and hockey sticks as the four boys clamored around in their gear for the puck. The two girls watched as they guys pushed and shoved to get at the puck, and it was Kendall who finally got it. His stick connected with the small red puck and it sailed across the room to Camille's goal.
"Catch it Camille!" Carlos cried, as it flew right toward her face.
Camille held James's tiny hockey gloves in front of her, prepared for what was to come.
"She's gonna get it," James mumbled, as the puck seemed to fly in slow motion toward the goal.
The next thing they knew, Camille was on the floor, writhing in pain.
"Nice going, Kendall!" Logan cried, skating over to her side. "You injured my girlfriend!"
Kendall dropped his hockey stick. "I'm so sorry! You know I didn't mean to!"
"I told you I wouldn't like this game," Jo mumbled, not expecting or receiving a response from Kendall.
"Camille, it was an accident, I swear!"
"My eye!" Camille cried, as Logan attempted to pry her hand away from her face.
"Someone get her some ice from the ice machine in the lobby!" Logan shouted. "Hurry!"
Camille suppressed a laugh as all four of their friends raced out the door for ice. Logan stood up, grinning and shaking his head as he helped Camille to her feet.
"That was too easy," Camille muttered, as she and Logan skated hand in hand toward the couch.
"Five bucks says Carlos comes back first with an unnecessarily enormous bag of ice."
"In the meantime, want to make some popcorn and watch some Spongebob?"
"There is nothing I would enjoy more."
Well, that's that I suppose. The first few minutes after finishing a story are always weird for me. I have so much trouble ending them, which is why my first fic I ever posted was nineteen chapters long, plus an epilogue, plus a bonus chapter. But I'm sticking to five chapters for this story, because five just seems like an appropriate number for this story. BTW, "Five Signs" is not a real website, which is why I never gave an actual URL for the site anywhere in the fic. I just made it up for this story. But it totally should be a real website.
I'd like to know what you thought of Wesley. I like writing OCs, particularly jerks and/or antagonists to the main character.
If you like my writing and you like Carlos and/or Stephanie, stay tuned for my next fic, which I can't tell you the title of because I haven't thought of one yet.
Don't forget to review. Because I dedicated this chapter to you, remember? And because I love you.